Having a mobile friendly website is about to become a whole lot more important. Google recently announced that starting on April 21st (that’s next week!) they’ll be expanding the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal, meaning more mobile friendly sites will appear in mobile search results. But just how many searches are made on mobile devices these days?
Whilst desktop platforms are still the primary form of web traffic, we’re seeing a rapidly growing shift towards people using their smartphones and tablets as their primary way to browse the web. Globalwebindex said that in Q3 2014 80% of internet users own a smartphone, and 47% own a tablet. This number is only going to increase, with more and more people using smartphones for their internet browsing. We’re also seeing a common trend of people “multiscreening” between mobile devices and PCs e.g visiting a site on a mobile device then returning to the same site with a PC later to complete their order or just view the site properly. Therefore it’s absolutely vital your website offers a consistent smooth experience across multiple devices. It’s safe to say that in 2015 if your business doesn’t have a mobile optimised website then you’re missing a trick.
As mentioned earlier, Google is about to roll out a major update to the search results they display when people use Google on mobile devices. This update will see Google ranking websites based on how mobile friendly they are; if your website just displays the full sized PC version on a smartphone it’s likely you’ll see your mobile search rankings severely damaged come April 21st. This update has been a long time coming from Google. Over the past couple of years Google have already started to judge websites based on them being properly configured and viewable on mobile devices, but April 21st looks to mark the biggest change for mobile search we’ve seen yet.
How can I ensure I’m ready for this update?
The solution is to have a fully responsive website – a site which displays on all different screen sizes and resolutions by automatically adjusting itself for the best experience on that device. If you’re running an ecommerce shop it should be simple for users to add products to their basket, fill out their information and checkout from their smartphones and tablets. If you have a portfolio style site then ensure images correctly resize for mobile devices, pages are mobile friendly and users can easily navigate around the site on both smartphones and tablets. Be critical, don’t settle for ‘good enough’, ensure the experience is just as good for mobile users as it is for PC users. The good news about this update is that if you already have a properly responsive and mobile optimised site you may find your search rankings improve significantly for mobile searches next week!
If you’re concerned about your site being mobile friendly, or just want us to take a quick look to reassure you, please get in touch. We’re always happy to help!
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